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Nov 5, 2007

Separate Studies Found Two Rheumatoid Arthritis Related SNPs in the Same Region

  • Two papers in Nature Genetics report the identification of separate mutations involved in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that are both on the same region of chromosome 6.

    Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and The Broad Institute carried out a genome wide association study of nearly 400 individuals with RA and identified a novel variant, rs10499194, that maps to 6q23 and increases the risk of developing the disease.

    In the second study, investigators at the University of Manchester attempted to replicate nine variants identified in a previous report by the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium and found rs6920220, which also maps to 6q23.
    Although these variants are not located in a gene, they are between the genes oligodendrocyte lineage transcription factor 3 (OLIG3) and tumor necrosis factor-induced protein 3 (TNFAIP3). The University of Manchester authors suggest that TNFAIP3 is a plausible candidate to explain the effects of these markers given its involvement in inflammatory processes.

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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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